Tragedy Unfolds in Hurghada
In a devastating turn of events at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt, a British couple, John and Susan Cooper, succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. This chilling incident occurred in August 2018, turning what had been a brilliant holiday into a nightmare for the Cooper family.
The Idyllic Vacation Takes a Dark Turn
The couple, aged 69 and 63, had been relishing their time in the Red Sea resort until the eighth day of their stay. Little did they know that the room next door, connected by an adjoining locked door, was about to be fumigated with a pesticide named Lambda to combat a bed bug infestation.
Around lunchtime on August 20, the adjacent room underwent fumigation, sealed with masking tape to contain the potent pesticide. Hours later, unaware of the peril next door, the Coopers returned to their room for the night. Tragically, the following day, their daughter discovered them seriously ill.
The grim reality unfolded as Mr. Cooper was declared dead on August 21 in their hotel room, while Mrs. Cooper passed away in the hospital. The three-day inquest later revealed a shocking detail: Lambda, when used in some countries, is occasionally mixed with dichloromethane, a substance triggering carbon monoxide ingestion or metabolism.
Coroner’s Verdict: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
On Friday, Dr. James Adeley, senior coroner for Lancashire, pronounced the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning. The deadly vapors emitted from the pesticide, laced with dichloromethane, proved fatal for the unsuspecting couple.
A Daughter’s Painful Testimony
Kelly Ormerod, the couple’s daughter, shared the profound pain her family endured in the aftermath of the tragedy. Expressing the long wait for closure, she emphasized the irreparable loss and the enduring struggle to comprehend the avoidable incident.
Unanswered Questions and Lingering Grief
“The last few years have been the most traumatic and emotional time for all of us involved,” said Kelly Ormerod. The void left by the sudden demise of her fit and healthy parents remains, exacerbated by the lingering questions surrounding a tragedy that “should never have been allowed to happen.”